I have the best job at The Daily Tar Heel. We, the opinion desk’s columnists, writers and editors have more or less a carte blanche to do as we like with the back page — and the most comfortable couch in the newsroom. It’s awesome. Consider it a credit to my restraint that the cartoon isn’t just a cat picture every day.
The best part about my job is also the most difficult, though. Unlike the rest of the DTH’s newsroom staff, I am free to sign any petition or associate with any political group I like. I can shout — or, more likely, these days, tweet — my opinions from the rooftops. I like it that way.
But there remains a careful balance to be struck between being a man with a lot of opinions and a man who simply copy-edits and prepares others’ opinions for consumption.
Ideally, I am both, but neither so much of the former that the opinion page becomes my personal diary nor so much of the latter that it becomes a formless entity of little more use than the scrawlings in a bathroom stall.
As racial tension mounts here at UNC and nationally, I’ve been flailing my editorial arms to try to reclaim some of that balance. If I believe a cause is just, is it not a moral imperative that I use whatever tools are at my disposal to bring about its benefits? But if someone is to intervene, should it be me, on others’ behalf?